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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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After the First Great War, Lloyd George's Government had made
every effort to save and strengthen a defeated Germany from France^ but
still more from a Bolshevik Russia. " Since the Armistice^ my policy
would have been 5> claimed Churchill in those days., " peace with the
German people^ v;ar on the Bolshevik tyranny/'4 and now as Prime
Minister of England^ seemingly more worried by the German war-
machine, he was making every move in the opposite direction by strength-
ening the Soviets. Poland., in every instance^ was to bear the brunt of
these experiments in the realms of European policy undertaken by the
various British Governments^ who seemed unable to decide whether 01
indeed how, they intended to settle the problem of Europe. With regard
to Poland^ both Lloyd George and Churchill wanted to mould a Polish
Republic which corresponded to the British interests and transient situa-
tion. The former statesman had been opposed to a restoration of Poland's
Eastern territories., on the grounds that, to include a great number of
minorities would make her a weak state, and disagreed with the restoration
of her western provinces since it would entail weakening Germany.
Although Lloyd George had claimed that the restoration of Poland was
the most important point of a future peace, nevertheless that country,
owing to his action, received neither Danzig nor East Prussia, nor the
greater part of Silesia—the identical provinces which Churchill now
considered handing to Poland, f
The British policy in relation to the European problem swung from one
extreme to the other over a period of a quarter of a century, for the British
statesmen had not ventured to tackle this problem in its entirety as had
both Germany and Russia. During the two wars and between them, the
men at the helm of the British Empire had piloted her along the easiest
the Poles to make such a precipitate and isolated peace at this juncture, when
everything is so critical, would utterly stultify (a.') the general policy of the Allies
in promising support to Admiral Koltchak, and (b) the special policy of Great
Britain in sending great consignments of munitions to Denikin.
We should be undoing with our left hand what we had done with our right by
pursuing opposite and contradictory policies on different sectors of the common
front. It seems therefore clear that our policy at the present moment should be to
persuade the Poles to carry on for a few months as they are doing, i.e., fighting
the Bolsheviks on their borders where and when they can, without preparing for a
decisive advance into the heart of Russia or for a separate peace. (Churchill's
survey to the Cabinet on September 22, I9!93 Aftermath, p. 251).
* Aftermath, p. 276.
f   The Times, April 26, 1919, F. M. Simonds :
** As we approach the end of the Paris Conference, it becomes more and more
unmistakable that the crowning tragedy of the Congress of Vienna is to be repeated.
A century ago the conquerors of Napoleon perpetrated a crime against Poland
which was contained in the several partitions . . .
" To-day, under the direct impulsion of Mr. Lloyd George, Poland is again to
be sacrificed;, indeed, has been sacrificed, so far as the present draft of the Treaty
of Peace is concerned . . . and for the sacrifice of Poland, the most disappointing
and tragic of all3 the responsibility must rest uniquely with Mr. Lloyd George,
since up to the moment of his arrival in Paris, Polish prospects were of the brightest,
and to his persistent attack has been due their almost total collapse.5*